Write-up by Lou of Interview of How To Catch A Killer @DrCJMerritt @KatRamsland #BloodyScotland @Brownlee_Donald

How To Catch A Killer
With
Dr. Chris Merritt and Dr. Katherine Ramsland

Bloody Scotland Online Event

This was a rather fasinating and yet chilling interview between Dr. Chris Merritt and
Dr. Katherine Ramsland about forensics and the psychology of those who kill or to be more precise – psychopaths.

Dr. Chris Merritt started proceedings with an introduction:

Dr. Chris Merritt
Author of the Boateng and Jones series and the Lockhart and Green series; Dr. Chris Merritt is also Clinical Psychologist. He has produced a lot of research papers on mental health, which he has researched and also studies the impact technology has on our lives.

He has practiced clinical psychology in the UK National Health Service. Now, he consults on psychology for businesses and write.

Dr Katherine Ramsland

Dr Katherine Ramslet teaches forensics psychology and has appeared in 200 documentaries, consulted on The Alienist (now on Netflix). She has an article about her in Psychology Today. She has spent 25 years, specialising in serial killers.
She is a Professor at  DeSales University  specifically to teach forensic psychology, focusing on her field of expertise—extreme offenders.

She has worked on a book called How To Catch A Killer about Dennis Radar, one of the most notorious serial killers of all time.

A Notorious Killer

She has known Dennis Radar for 10 years and seemed fascinated by him and in writing about him, although 85% is his work, with some suggestions etc being made. She shown an interesting slide show, which can be seen when the recording is shown of the event.

Finally, caught in 2004, he didn’t come across as a totally stereotypical guy who would be a serial killer. He was a president of a church group and a public figure.
He, however started with a family of 4, so was a mass murderer before he became a serial killer, with more victims outwith the family.
His thing was binding, torturing and killing people. He killed 6 more people. You’ll get a bit more about it in Mindhunter.
What is described is chilling, but there certainly seems a clever way of catching him.  
Katherine talked about how he was manipulative and how she seemed to pay attention to what he said and how he said it. She said that they played chess and she was watching how he played. She talked about the layers of him; which was fascinating to hear about.

She talked of compartmentalising or cubing, which describes the behaviour and she learnt how to talk to him and she reckons it all allowed her to do an indepth study of him.

The Effect

Dr. Chris Merritt asked about the psychological effect that her work could have on her.

Dr Katherine Ramsland talked about how she approaches the case with a clinical perspective and says it hasn’t really effected her. She did however, talk a bit to some of her friends about a few of the more disturbing things. She said she had studied so much and reckoned her approach made the difference in coping.

How she came to start working on this

She was curious as a child, when in Michegan and became fascinated by the process. She worked with John Hunter and started to write for the Crime Library and wasn’t intending on becoming an expert on serial killers. She teaches forensics at universities. She talked about how there is so much diversity in serial killers in certain traits and backgrounds.
She is interested in many unique cases these days and less so, than those that hit the main news headlines.

The History of Serial Killing

Interestingly, she talked about how serial killers can be traced way back in history.
The earliest was 2nd BC in China and says it is of interest to psychologists in what leads them to study that. She also wrote about serial killers that go back to Ancient Rome.

She also talked of many different types of seriel killers and of all the different manifestations of murder.

Debunking Myths

Dr. Chris Merritt talked about there being myths around serial killers and one being single white men.

She says that women are also seriel killers and are mostly quiet around it with poisonings, but not always. She says that she is past the whole women are all nurturers and can’t possibly do this. She talked of some women being in teams as they go about their killing. They talked of some in England and the manipulation that presents itself in their behaviours.

They both talked about the psychology of team killers and used the Moors Murderers as a prime example and how she sees how much females in a male/female team can be involved.

Traits

All serial killers are not psychopaths, it would seem. It is fascinating to hear that there is so much work that is going into studying the traits really early on and kids who are maybe at risk of becoming a psychopath. Sometimes, however there isn’t a childhood history. She studies the case histories and looks into what arouses a person and their perspective on the world.

Most Like To Interview

Dr. Katherine Ramsland would most want to interview Jack the Ripper.

Dr. Chris Merritt’s and Dr. Katherine Ramsland’s books are available to buy.

Pics of their latest….

 

#BookReview by Lou of – On Borrowed Time (The Rutland Crime Series) by Adam Croft – The Second in the Rutland Series @adamcroft #CrimeFiction

On Borrowed Time
The Rutland Crime Series
By Adam Croft
Rated: 5 stars *****

On Borrowed Time is the second book of the Rutland series by Adam Croft that enraptures and brings crime and health together exceedingly well. It is overall, an exceedingly good read with a new crime being committed and a seemlessly continuation of the thread of personal lives of the main characters.
Thanks to Joanne Croft (and Adam Croft) for inviting me to review for them and for sending me an e-copy of the book.
Read further for the blurb and full review.

On Borrowed Time.jpg

Blurb

Each morning, the first train of the day leaves Oakham station and thunders through a tunnel under the village of Manton. But today the driver sees something that changes his life: A dead body hangs in the tunnel’s exit.

DI Caroline Hills knows this isn’t a suicide. It’s murder. And when a second apparent suicide appears in Rutland, Caroline uncovers a shocking link: the victims knew each other.

As Rutland Police fight to catch the killer, a group of friends is left with an even more shocking realisation. One of them is the murderer. And one of them will be the next to die.

Review

Gary Stoddart likes his early shift and how the land and skyscapes are over the East Midlands countryside on any ordinary morning. This wasn’t to be an average morning though as on his journey, there is a man found hanging at a train tunnel that goes under Manton. The mystery then begins to unfold as to who he is and whether it was suicide or something more grizzly, like murder!

Caroline is now in her treatment stage for cancer. There’s a realism about it and is well-written in a matter-of-fact way during the “work chat” with the usually formidable Arnold, who reacts in a natural way in wanting to know things, but trying not to be totally insensitive, but also asking only half questions outright.
The contrast between the working and private life and living in a small area, is nicely done. It’s a new case, but her private/personal life continues naturally from the first book with her illness –  cancer  encroaching on her further and treatment beginning. It’s emotional, but also shows strength of character, which really suits this book.

Caroline and Dexter end up on the new case together. There’s the murder to solve, but also a joviality to the atmosphere between the two colleagues, which makes this very pleasant and brings some humour, but with only a partial number plate and a poor CCTV picture, they certainly have their work cut-out to catch the killer. There is also the press who get all over the story, which becomes pretty heated.

The book then gently twists and turns, with some startling moments, before wrapping up and leaving a question unanswered at the end and more that can explored and may well leave many readers (including myself), wanting more.
The good news is that book 3 is due to be published in 2021.

 

 

#BookReview by Lou of Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten #CrimeFiction @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter_ @HarperCollinsUK @BOTBSPublicity

Dead Perfect
By Noelle Holten
Rated: 5 stars *****

Fast-paced, gritty and chilling to the end – Dead Perfect is a book that packs a punch, with its twists and turns and sinister moves of a stalker.
Thanks One More Chapter/Harper Collins for providing me with the book and for Sarah Hardy for later, inviting me to join the blog tour.

About The Author

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering cases of domestic violence and abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Dead Inside is her debut novel and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

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Blurb

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?

Dead Pefect

Review

A tapping sound, a hammer and a video makes an intriguing prologue.
The Major and Organised Crime Department at Stafford Police Station is where DC Maggie Jamieson is in active service and in comes a sinister case that could be so close to home for her and the team, with a stalker on the loose. The writing is impactful and emotional, as well as compelling and believable as it twists from as early on from the first couple of chapters.

The team solving the case are likeable, especially Nathan and his protective nature.

When it comes to the culprit, there is edge of your seat, atmophere, as the tension builds, as does the case. It also has an air of creepiness about it. This is powerful writing of a stalker’s harrowing and spine-tingling activities.

There is also Lucy Sherwood, who has completed her probation at Markston and is an agency Probation Officer who is opening a refuge for men and women. She also feeds into the case as well, in a practical sense and both her story and the case all come together rather seemlessly and naturally. The author has evidently used some of her own background when writing about Lucy Sherwood, which enhances the character.

There’s the question of whether the stalker and murderer are one of the same person or if both cases are not linked at all. It’s a book that keeps you guessing!
There is also the question of the press being involved that adds to the intrigue.

It’s quite edgy and graphic in nature, but in a realistic sense of being tied-up, which then becomes absorbing, with a need to find out what happens next and who will be caught and who will survive and how people are connected as evidence is pieced together, but there are twists and turns within this as well.

It is captivating as the behaviours of the stalker are discussed and as the colleagues try to work it out and also recall a historic serial killer. There seems to be a lot for readers to get stuck into in this book and all is detailed with what needs to be done to protect the officers as much as possible about each part of the case to catch the criminal, but still, Noelle Holten manages to keep everything pointing in the same direction of attempting to solve the case and keep it all gripping and chilling to the very end.

 

Write-up by Lou of Peter May and Ann Cleeves talk about their series and writing @BloodyScotland @authorpetermay @AnnCleeves #VirtualEvent #CrimeFiction

A Write-up of a talk by Peter May and Ann Cleeves

 

LOCKDOWN by Peter MayPeter May talked about Lockdown – a book about a pandemic he set in 2005 and dug it out and hadn’t thought it would actually get published and he discovered that some of it was parallel to what is happening now. He had tried to get it published before, but unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, it wasn’t back then. It certainly seems very apt for these times.

 

 

 

The Darkest Evening by Ann CleevesAnn Cleeves talked about The Darkest Evening and about the being so atmospheric and how snow changes a landscape. It’s set in a big house in Northumberland. She talked about class and the responsibilities to those who live in the cottages and about Vera’s past and her relationship to the people in the house. She says she always knew Vera was haunted by Hector and the “country-crimes” he was involved in and neglecting Vera.

 

 

Peter talked about place as in his first book written in Spain and became aware of another side to Andalucia.

Peter wrote a non-fiction book about the Hebrides and had lived there for a considerable time and says the islands now feel like “home” and says there’s that sense of homecoming that he wanted to convey. He was, for his book, sent lots of photos by photographer David Wilson. It sounds a beautiful book.

Ann Cleeves says she found writing about Shetland really challenging, more so that Peter. She says she loves Shetland, but didn’t enjoy doing the research at all and readers were warned that there may not be another like this, although sounds a good companion book.

They talked about how they keep track of characters and evolution of them.
Ann Cleeves says she knows Matthew quite well and isn’t a planner and plotter and writes like a reader. She always has to then write the next scene to find out more. For 20 years she didn’t make any commercial success, so wants it to be fun to write and discover.
Initially Vera wasn’t going to be a series, due to the publisher and then she ended writing more. There’s been a break because she wanted to concentrate on the Shetland series.

Peter has written 3 series and says the China Thriller series wasn’t intended for a series and got a 2 book deal and were a voyage of discovery. The Enzo series was more planned and were originally published in the States, but it took 6/7 years to finish it.

It was fascinating to hear her talk about having anorexia and another having down syndrome and also about how the young are not always good at communication and all the responsibility.
Peter wrote a character who was deaf and blind and talked about the research that went into it and how he found a book about it that seemed to of had a profound effect on him.

They talked about Murder and how it is a starting point and is important, but sounds like other things like the journey and the victims are also important and there’s a structure to work within to explore other characters.

They talked about how crime writing is maybe in a new “Golden-Age” and how so much more can be explored and written about and readers are also more open to writers from across the world with “Scandinoir” being popular. Crime Fiction can go into smaller, intricate details of crime fiction.

It can be watched on You Tube. Books are also available to buy.

LOCKDOWN by Peter MayThe Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves

My Darling by Amanda Robson – An Enigmatic #PsychologicalThriller @AmandaRAuthor @SabahKhan @PhoebeMorgan @AvonBooks #CrimeFiction

My Darling
By Amanda Robson
Rated: 5 stars *****

The extremities of human behaviour, including a murder is shown in this psychological thriller that will play with you in its enigmatic, twisty way, and keep you guessing right to the end.
I thank Pheobe Morgan and Sabah Khan and everyone at Avon Books for accepting my request to review.

My Darling

Blurb

Thrilling, unputdownable – I was obsessed’ BA ParisThe brand-new domestic thriller from the #1 bestselling author of Obsession

A new couple moves in next door.
And nothing will ever be the same again…

I watched you move in and thought we might be friends.

I saw you watching from the window – and knew I’d have to keep you away from my husband.

I started to trust you. Confide in you.

I started to mistrust you. Suspect you.

I was confused when I blacked out after an evening at your place. Was I really that drunk?

I came up with a plan. A plan to make you both pay . . .

Sexy and sinister – this book will keep you up all night . . .

Review

Taking centre stage with chapters each to themselves are Emma, Jade and Alistair. Each is just a couple pages or so long. It does however, all marry-up together well.

The word “Clusterfuck” that crops up quite a bit in the book is worth a mention as it has an appealing quality. It does have relevance to the book in terms of a character. The dictionary definition is:  a complex and utterly disordered and mismanaged situation : a muddled mess.

Emma is a dentist who is together with Alistair who is a forensic scientist. Jade and Tomas move into a Victorian detached house – Fairlawns near the river in Henley-on-Thames, with what sounds like, the best of everything and seems materialistic and yet fitting for the house, that, from the minute the removal van pulls up and is starting to be emptied, the place will look sublime or a bit like a magazine set-up house. The real beginnings of an atmostphere you wouldn’t expect to find, starts at a dinner party. Looks can be deceptive though as there’s a visit to a psychiatrist’s office and either founded or unfounded insecurities start to emerge.

Heather Brown is Alistair’s ex-wife turns up with an urgency, and things take a more sinister twist. As events occur, the curiosity about just which of the characters are telling the truth about just about everything as it becomes a tale of smoke and mirrors. Lives are twisted. My Darling becomes to have so many connotations within those two words, that aren’t as innocent as they may first appear within memories and the present story, the behaviours presented and a murder.

This is a book that gripped and twisted almost as much as a Rubix Cube and I’m sure will keep many readers guessing to its shock ending.

 

By Louise – Happy Publication Day to James Oswald for Bury Them Deep @SirBenfro @Wildfirebks @headlinepg #CrimeFiction #Thriller #Bookreview

Bury Them Deep
By James Oswald
Rated: 5 Stars *****

It is now publication day for Bury Them Deep. It was some time ago, since I reviewed, so I thought I would share it again, now people can actually buy it. I must say that James Oswald has outdone himself with Bury Them Deep. Absolute congratulations to him for reaching his 10th Inspector McLean novel. There is a lot of high quality writing here. There is plenty to hook people into this book and once hooked, that’s it, so leave plenty of time to read because there is so much readers will want to try to discover.

About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJAMES OSWALD is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries, as well as the new DC Constance Fairchild series. James’s first two
books, NATURAL CAUSES and THE BOOK OF SOULS, were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. BURY THEM DEEP is the tenth book in the Inspector Mclean Series.
James farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.

Blurb

The tenth book in the Sunday Times-bestselling Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland’s most celebrated crime writers.

When a member of the Police Scotland team fails to clock-in for work, concern for her
whereabouts is immediate… and the discovery of her burnt-out car in remote woodland
to the south of Edinburgh sets off a desperate search for the missing woman.
Meanwhile, DCI Tony McLean and the team are preparing for a major anti-corruption
operation – one which may raise the ire of more than a few powerful people in the city. Is
Anya Reynolds’ disappearance a co-incidence or related to the case?
McLean’s investigations suggest that perhaps that Anya isn’t the first woman to have
mysteriously vanished in these ancient hills. Once again, McLean can’t shake the feeling
that there is a far greater evil at work here…
The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…

Jamees Oswald Bury Them Deep Cover

Review

Bury Them Deep gets off to an excellent start that instantly adds intrigue as to who hates herself and why?

Enter readers, into the streets of Edinburgh and to Operation Caterwaul, something that those on the force with clearance are working on, but there’s an issue. Anya Renfrew, who was working on the operation has mysteriously not turned up for work and so little actually seems to be known about her, as her life is pieced together. It leaves MacLean trying to pour over notes and question suspects and trying to find out as much information as possible, no matter how uncomfortable it becomes, from the doctor treating Norman Bale and even wondering what people on the force know. There is also the question of where she actually spent most of her time residing and what, if anything, a gardener knew.

I think it is ingenious that the more that is attempted to be found out about Anya, the less information there seems to be and the more questions there are. She is quite the enigma! This keeps me utterly intrigued to know who this woman is, what’s happened to her and why has she gone missing with no real trace. It keeps me turning the pages, desperately and hungrily wanting to know more as I find myself buried deep within the 450 pages, totally engrossed and involved with a need to discover what exactly is going to happen next and more about Anya.

There is also money laundering and subsequent fact-finding accountancy raids in Ayr and Aberdeen, jittery Americans, public service cuts and McLean wasn’t on the top clearance list for the operation.

I like the characterisation and the different voices and the build up of suspicion amongst everyone.

Forensics are soon on the case as there are human remains found in the investigative work, but from more than one person and it is questionable whether any belong to Anya Renfrew or not.

The atmosphere of the sometimes slight eeriness and uneasiness is a terrific combination with the intrigue and tension that builds as the story takes some twists and turns that are deftly written. From beginning to end, this book is gripping.

This is James Oswald’s 10th Inspector McLean novel and here’s to another 10.

*With thanks to James Oswald for a thoughtful signed copy of the book.

*My review is unbiased.